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Gender and Homicide: A Comparison of Men and Women Who Kill

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Abstract:

This study compares the patterns of homicides committed by women and men. Classic comparison studies of homicides by men and women suggest that each group kills in ways that are reflective of socially approved gender role behavior. More recently, however, research on women who kill suggests that they frequently do so in response to threats of violence by men. In contrast to the gender role and self-protection models of women's homicides, the liberation hypothesis suggests that patterns of women's violence will increasingly resemble patterns of violence by men. Based on our analysis of court records of 158 cases of homicides by men and women over a six-year period, we find little support for the liberation hypothesis and considerable support for the gender role and self-protection models. Compared to men, women more frequently kill intimates and kill in situations in which their victim initiated the physical aggression.

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: 1: School of Justice Studies, Arizona State University at Tempe 2: Department of Government, New Mexico State University at Las Cruces

Publication date: January 1, 1990

More about this publication?
  • Violence and Victims discusses theory, research, policy, and clinical practice in the area of interpersonal violence and victimization across such disciplines as psychology, sociology, criminology, law, medicine, nursing, psychiatry, and social work.

    The journal's 2012 Impact Factor is 0.981.
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